It’s that time of year again, the dreaded midterm season! Now I know most of you are A++ students that always complete your assignments on time, make review notes on the daily, and are always perfectly prepared for your midterms. But in the slight off-hand chance that you are not “prepared” per-say, then this article is for you.
It’s the night before the midterm and you are freaking out. To say that you’re stressed would be the understatement of the year. A plethora of swear words are coming out of your mouth and you wish you could go back in time and slap yourself for opting to binge-watch Netflix instead of studying more. If only you had studied more….but you didn’t and now you’re here, and left with only one option. Pulling an all-nighter and cramming. Now,I don’t think I have to point out that this is ABSOLUTELY the least effective way to study, but I’m not going to preach and play the coulda, woulda, shoulda, game. It is what it is. So here’s what you can do to pull a successful all-nighter so you can walk into your midterm like this:
Instead of feeling like this:
1. TAKE A NAP
NO, I definitely don’t mean in the middle of your all-nighter. If you know you are doomed to pull an all-nighter, try to take a 1-2 hour cat nap at sometime the day before. Preferably before
the sun sets.
2. BE PREPARED, AND MAKE A PLAN
Know what you need to study, and how you are going to study for it. Some tips include:
- Copy all important points from your notes/textbooks into a study/cram guide.
- Re-read chapters in your textbook and make notes as needed
- Make flashcards to refer to a certain amount of times
- If you are writing a paper/working on a project, gather what you need, and don’t stop until it’s done.
- Be organized! make sure you have all the study materials (highlighters, pens, index cards etc.), drinks and snacks that you need to keep you going.
3. PICK YOUR STUDY SPOT
Make sure it’s well lit and comfortable, but not too
comfortable. On that note I highly recommend not studying in your room. Don’t study anywhere near a bed or a comfy couch where it can be too tempting to “lie down for just a sec” which ends up being lying down for the rest of the night. The best place to study is quite honestly the kitchen table. If you absolutely have to study in your room, consider piling a bunch of things on top of your bed to prevent you from napping.
4. STAY HYDRATED!
Drink lots of water. It makes it way easier to stay awake and alert, and you’ll feel way better the next day. Aim to drink 2 8 ounce glasses of water every two hours.
Many people well advise you against this, but I’d be a traitor if I agreed with them. OF COURSE caffeine helps, so start brewing that coffee. But just remember to drink twice as much water as you do your caffeinated beverages. It will prevent you from crashing and getting dehydrated from all that caffeine.
But snack smart.
Don’t fill up on junk and sugary snacks, and try to avoid heavy carbs (like bread/pasta) if you can. Eat small portions, and munch while you work. some good snack ideas include:
- Apples, Bananas, and other fruits–Fruits are full of complex cards and Bananas=potassium=excellent brain food!
- Protein Rich foods like peanut butter, tofu, or nuts.
- Cheese & Crackers–just enough carbs and protein!
- Pizza…because shut up it’s awesome. What better excuse to order a large pizza than to be up and studying all night? Yes please.
6. GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS
In order to pull an effective all-nighter, you have to get rid of any and all distractions. Way easier said than done, I know.
- Block all the websites you frequent. Apps like Cold Turkey and Self Control are excellent for this.
- TURN OFF your cell phone. In fact, if I were you I would just hide it somewhere, because even if it’s off, if it’s within your eyesight it can be too tempting to check it.
- Music is okay, so long as it’s not distracting. if you’re spending too much time picking a song you like or curating a special :study” playlist, you might be better off without it.
7. SET AN ALARM
Seriously. Even if you know you’re going to be up all night, set your alarm. Can’t stress it enough.
The all-nighter is not for everyone. Not everyone can make it through the night. It’s pretty inevitable that you will fall asleep at some point during your late night study sesh. if this happens, you don’t want to be sleeping through your alarm, potentially missing your midterm or an assignment due date.
SET IT, DON’T REGRET IT.
8. IN THE WORDS OF NIKE, JUST DO IT!
On of the hardest things about all-nighters are kick starting them. Procrastinating is all too easy. You have to think of studying like you would ripping off a band-aid—you gotta suck it up and just do it. Now that you’re prepared—you have your coffee and your cram guide, you have no more excuses. do what you need to do, pull this all-nighter and get your midterms done and over with. In fact, think of the relief and happiness you will feel once they are finished and use that as your motivator.
You got this!